Artist(s): Paul Marcano

The Hong Hing Waterfront Store

Mural Routes Member(s): Chemainus Festival of Murals Society Completed: 1982

Dimensions: 8m x 4.4m (26’ x 15’)

Best Viewed: East side of building, corner Oak and Esplanade streets

“Historical Series #4: The Hong Hing Waterfront Store”

Fong Yen Lew was known to almost everyone as Hong Hing, the name he gave to his store. Born in the late 1800s, he came to Canada and set up his business in Chemainus around 1915. His enterprise began as a laundry, but he later sold groceries, chickens and second-hand goods. Eventually, he expanded into bootlegging and running a gambling house.

Hong Hing was welcome everywhere in Chemainus, just as he welcomed everyone.

His easy credit terms and kind heart probably lost him plenty of money over the years but gained him many friends. In the 1950s, the opening of a government liquor store in Chemainus foretold the demise of Hong Hing’s establishment. His original building was eventually declared a fire trap and demolished. Hong Hing returned to China, presumably to die. But to the surprise of only a few who did not know him, he instead married a woman 40 years his junior, who eventually presented him with an heir.

(Please drop by the Chemainus Visitors Centre to buy your Official Mural Guide. Proceeds from the sale go to the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society).

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Where to Find This Mural

Location: 2849 Oak St., Chemainus BC. V0R1K1 Get Directions